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OCA to support organic cotton farming in India

Jun 30, 2021
OCA to support organic cotton farming in India

New Delhi

Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA) has joined forces with Fairtrade Deutschland, Tchibo, Dibella, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH to support partners to procure organic cotton in India.

 

OCA is a multi-stakeholder organisation that is dedicated to organic cotton. OCA also plays a vital role in uniting the sector to unleash the potential of organic cotton. It is believed that organic cotton will have a positive and powerful impact on the planet, people, and prosperity. On the other hand, FFID-Chetna, is an umbrella of small farmers that is owned by cooperatives with a focus to address livelihoods and to build a farming community.

Cotton is the most used natural fibre in the global textile sector and the demand for organic cotton is increasing but to meet this demand is a challenge. Many producers think that if they will switch to organic cotton, then it will be expensive. Also, the transition period from conventional farming to organic farming needs appropriate training, access to non-GM seed, and training, support.

There are around 500 cotton producers in the Fairtrade cooperative Chetna in the Indian states of Odisha and Telangana. These producers will receive training in organic cotton cultivation, financial support, and non-GM seed.  The aim is to harvest 250 tons of organic cotton and cotton from fields in conversion per year.  According to Nanda Bergstein, Director of Corporate Responsibility, Tchibo, India has been selected as it is the world’s largest organic cotton exporter. Around 50% of sustainable cotton comes from India and it has the potential to expand more.

It is said that the farmers will be provided extensive training measures including efficient organic farming methods which are designed to propagate capacity building in smallholder organic cotton production. During the transition process, GMO-free seed packages might overcome the expected hurdles. The organic farmers will be paid with an organic premium and a minimum support price and the farmers’ in-conversion will be supported by a Fairtrade Premium payment. The certification of women-led farms will also be increased. Women will have increased independence if more female farmers join the enterprises.

According to Bart Vollaard, Executive Director, OCA, to increase the supply of organic cotton, the business case of the farmers should be ensured. It needs to be checked if the farmers are already certified or they are transitioning to organic farming. The pilot has the right partners and ingredients. Also, the economic resilience of farmers can be improved by the binding and long-term cotton sourcing commitments by brands and retailers. He also said that the team is excited to see this project as it will inform and inspire inform larger-scale action by actors within the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles.

OCA is the only multi-stakeholder organization that is fully dedicated to organic cotton. It is also committed to bring integrity, measurable social and environmental impact to organic cotton, and supply security. OCA will also be responsible for measuring and validating the impact of the project.

Source – Press release of "OCA"

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